Case Western Reserve University




Eileen Anderson-Fye, PhD
  Assistant Professor
Cynthia Beall, PhD
Atwood Gaines, PhD
Melvyn Goldstein, PhD
Lawrence Greksa, PhD
  Chair and Professor
Vanessa Hildebrand, PhD
  Assistant Professor
Lee Hoffer, PhD
  Assistant Professor
Jill Korbin, PhD
Janet McGrath, PhD
  Associate Professor
Jim Shaffer, PhD
  Associate Professor




Kathleen Dowdell
Barbara Reebel
Kimberly Racut



Return to top




New! Spring 2012 Course



ANTH 387/487

Anthropology of Body Image



View Spring 2012 Course Guide





Return to top




Tenure-Track Position


The Department has begun a search for a medical anthropologist. Geographic area is open but candidates with expertise in China are preferred. For more information, see:




Return to top


Professor Goldstein and Beall's

Summer Research in Tibet


Professor's Goldstein and Beall conducting summer research in Tibet


Professors Goldstein and Beall revisited their longitudinal research sites in both the nomad and the farming communities of Tibet. In the two years since their last fieldwork, a lot had changed, but it was wonderful to see old friends coping successfully with rapid change and modernization.


Return to top


Kassen Lecture for 2011

Marcia C. Inhorn


This year the department of Anthropology Kassen Lecture Series was delighted to welcome Marcia C. Inhorn, William K. Lanman Jr. Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs, Yale University.



Marcia C. Inhorn


Marcia C. Inhorn



Professor Inhorn is a specialist on Middle Eastern gender and health issues and has conducted research on the social impact of infertility and assisted reproductive technologies in Egypt, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, and Arab America over the past 20 years.



She is (co)editor of eight volumes and author of four books on the subject, including The New Arab Man: Emergent Masculinities, Technologies, and Islam in the Middle East, which will be published by Princeton University Press in March 2012. Inhorn is the founding editor of the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies (JMEWS), and co-editor (with Soraya Tremayne) of Berghahn Books’ “Fertility, Reproduction, and Sexuality” series. Inhorn has directed Yale’s Council on Middle East Studies and the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Michigan. Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association and was President of the Society for Medical Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association. In Fall 2010, Inhorn was the first Diane Middlebrook and Carl Djerassi Visiting Professor at the Centre for Gender Studies, directed by Jude Browne at the University of Cambridge.


Her Kassen lecture entitled “Global Gametes: Reproductive ‘Toursim’ and Islamic Bioethics in the High-tech Middle East” was held on November 4, 2011. A luncheon and discussion with the graduate students preceded and a reception followed the lecture.



Return to top




Welcome Professor Cyleste Collins


New Instructor for the

Spring 2012 Semester


Professor Cyleste Collins


Cyleste Collins, a faculty associate at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development and Research Assistant Professor at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, will be teaching ANTH 326/426 Power, Illness, and Inequality: The Political Economy of Health spring semester. 



Dr. Collins earned her Ph.D. in Social Work at the University of Alabama, including training from William Dressler in the Department of Anthropology.  Her research focuses on understanding psychosocial processes in a cultural context, using cognitive anthropological theory and methods to investigate topics such as domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, perceptions of discrimination, and health disparities.



Return to top




Dr. Eileen Anderson-Fye

Dr. Anderson-Fye was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Center for Research on Girls at Laurel School. She also serves as Associate Editor for the Encyclopedia of Body Image and Human Appearance published by Elsevier Press.




Return to top



Dr. Atwood Gaines

Dr. Gaines is one of two American Anthropological Association (AAA) Presidential Appointments to the American Anthropological Association Committee on Ethics. His tenure begins after the November 2011 AAA Annual meeting.

Dr. Gaines has agreed, at the request of Springer Publishing, to begin a second four-year term as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry. In the last four years of his editorship, the journal's number of internet downloads has increased between 300-400 percent per month. Most importantly, the journal's contribution to the field of Medical Anthropology, Medical Social Science and Medical History, has greatly increased. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry now has the highest Impact Factor of all health-related anthropology journals including Medical Anthropology Quarterly.




Return to top


Dr. Melvyn Goldstein

Dr. Goldstein spoke at several invited talks over the summer.


5 May 2011 - Kelvin Smith Library’s digital conference. Talk on the Tibet Oral History Project.

19 May 2011 - Presentation on “Issues in Rural Tibet” to a group of Danish parliamentarians. Copenhagen, Denmark.

20-21 May 2011 - Lecture on “China’s Tibet Problem: Historical and Ethnographic Perspectives” at a Conference organized by the Danish Council for Independent Research and the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies on ”Challenging the Harmonious Society: Tibetans and Uyghurs in Socialist China.” Copenhagen, Denmark.

14 June 2011 - Lecture titled “Rural Tibet and the New Leadership in China” at a workshop jointly organized by The Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), U. S. Department of State and the National Intelligence Council (NIC) on “Leadership Transitions in China and Tibet.” Washington, DC.

27 June 2011 - Keynote speech “The Tibetan Pastoralists of Phala, 1986-2009: Change, Continuity and Lessons for the Future of mobile pastoralism in the Tibet Autonomous Region.” At the Conference on “Pastoralism in China Today,” jointly organized by the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Peace Research Institute Oslo (Prio) Beijing conference on Nomads, Beijing.

19 August 2011 - “Tibetan nomads and modernization.” Talk at the Beijing Genomics Institute.

22 August 2011 - Plenary Session “A new system of pasture management” paper at the 3rd International Conference of the Chinese Association for Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture, Lhasa.



Return to top





Nadia El-Shaarawi


Nadia successfully defended her dissertation “Living in Uncertain Future: An Ethnography of Displacement, Health, Psychosocial Well-Being and the Search for Durable Solutions among Iraqi Refugees in Egypt” and will graduate January 2012. She has begun a postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University in the area of Forced Migration.



Return to top


Hillary Melchiors


Hillary is currently doing her fieldwork research entitled “Adolescent Negotiation of Bicultural Environments: Expectations and Identity of Turkish-German Girls in Berlin.” The research was made possible in part by financial assistance from the Ruth Landes Memorial Research fund, a program of the The Reed Foundation, a Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (German Academic Exchange Service) graduate research scholarship, and an Eva L. Pancoast Memorial Fellowship.



Return to top


Amy Rezac


Amy was appointed as Adjunct Instructor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and taught Introduction to Anthropology Summer 2011.



Return to top



Kristi Ninneman


Kristi was awarded the Lemelson-Society for Psychological Anthropology Pre Dissertation Fellowship for pilot research, the first domestic project funded by the Lemelson Society. With a portion of this funding, Kristi attended a course in psychiatric genomics over the summer at the Mayo Clinic and is currently planning pilot work investigating the subjective experiences of individuals with first episodes of psychosis interfacing with pharmacogenomic testing in the United States.


Kristi has had seven entries published in the 2011 edition of the Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health (published by Springer) on such topics as specific culture-bound syndromes to intelligence testing in the context of immigrant populations. She has a paper in press with Culture, Medicine, and Society based on her 2011 Society for Psychological Anthropology presentation entitled “ Pharmacogenomics and Ethnopsychopharmacology: Ethnic and Cultural Variation in Psychotropic Response.”


Kristi, along with Rebecca Lester, Washington University and Hiba Zafran, McGill University, are organizing a workshop “From Which Self do I Speak? Fluid Selves in Health Care Research” for the upcoming American Anthropological Association (AAA) 2011 Annual Meeting. The workshop will focus on the complex issues faced by individuals who are dual psychiatric practitioners and researchers.




Return to top




Ariel Cascio


In June and July 2011, Ph.D. student Ariel Cascio traveled to Italy to conduct a feasibility study for her future dissertation research on autism spectrum conditions (ASC) and ASC-specific organizations in Northern Italy. The prevalence of ASC in Italy is low, but advocacy and non-profit organizations have raised awareness and attention to these conditions. In this preliminary study, Cascio identified three types of ASC-specific organizations that will be the focus of her research: residential centers, day centers, and social activity groups.




Image of the 150th Anniversary of a Unified Italy taken by Ariel Cascio while conducting feasibility study in Italy.
150th Anniversary of a Unified Italy




This trip allowed Cascio to make important contacts with coordinators of organizations serving people with ASC and their families who have expressed interest in participating in future dissertation research. Cascio conducted informational interviews with these coordinators, received tours of residential and day centers, and shadowed aides and their clients at an inclusive day camp. This exploratory trip was funded by the Eva L. Pancoast Memorial Fellowship and a Phi Beta Kappa Grant.



Return to top



Sarah Koopman-Gonzalez


Sarah presented a paper at the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) 2011 Annual Meeting entitled “Risk, Power, and Legitimacy: The Multi-Dimensional Experiences of Confidential Informant in a Heroin Market.”


During July of 2011 Sarah went to San Salvador, El Salvador to conduct pilot research in preparation for her dissertation research on the effect of gang violence on children. The pilot research was funded by the Eva L. Pancoast Memorial Fellowship. During her time in San Salvador, she met with local researchers, including anthropologists and sociologists, who have studied aspects of the violence in El Salvador. Sarah also met with local professionals to discuss this topic and find collaborators for her dissertation research.


These professionals included teachers, professionals at non-governmental organizations who work to prevent violence in children and help those affected by violence, professionals at religious organizations who work to improve the lives of children in El Salvador, and professionals at a foundation which conducted research to help the government create a policy to protect children and adolescents.


Sarah Koopman-Gonzalez in San Salvador, El Salvador conducting pilot research

Sarah Koopman-Gonzalez







Return to top



Sarah Rubin

Sarah just completed 18 months of fieldwork in a community near Cape Town, South Africa. Her research set out to explain the relevance of the diagnosis “postnatal depression” in a poor, urban Xhosa South African context by exploring the processes by which the daily adversity of township life influences the motherhood role and practice and perceptions of emotional distress in the postnatal period, as well as how the concept “postnatal depression” is used and understood in the clinical context.

Her research was ethnographic and mainly qualitative. Most research activities took place at a public maternity clinic in and surrounding communities of a South African township. In South Africa a township is a peri-urban satellite of a larger metropolitan area that was historically racially segregated. The Xhosa people are the second largest language/ethnic group in South Africa.


Through preliminary analysis, some aspects of an ethnopsychology of Xhosa mothers emerged. In general, Xhosa mothers understand their emotions as directly caused by and related to their experiences in the world.


Sarah Rubin in Cape Town, South Africa holding a birthday girl at her first birthday

Sarah Rubin holding birthday girl

at her first birthday

They are situational, in that a) they are always about something, and b) emotions are not seen as capable of transcending experience or existing in the absence of experiences; in other words, once the stimulus is gone, the emotional response disappears or transforms.



Furthermore, Xhosa mothers rarely see themselves as uniquely vulnerable (or resilient) to emotional distress simply by virtue of being a mother. Future analysis of the data seeks to further explore the tension between Xhosa mothers’ privately rich emotional lives and their publicly narrativized pragmatism.





Return to top


American Anthropological Association

Graduate Student Presentations


The following graduate students will be presenting papers at the American Anthropological Association (AAA) Annual Meeting November 16-20, 2011 in Montreal, QC, Canada.

“From the 4-Hs to MSM: Blood Donor Educational Materials As Constructions of the HIV/AIDS patient”

“System CHANGE-HIV Effecting Paradigms”

“The Gendered Experience of Agency: Being a Female Heroin Addict”

“Maximizing Maternal and Fetal Outcomes: Flexibility in Biomedical Theories about Managing the Maternal-Fetal Conflict and Treating Cancer In Pregnancy”

“Constructing Identity: Infertility and Schistosomiasis in Rural Southeast Kenya”

“It’s Just Gym: African American Teen Girls Enacting Body-Based Identity in School Settings”

WORKSHOP: “From which self do I speak? Fluid selves in health care research”

“Where Nurses Yell and Patients Lie: Care-Seeking and Care-Giving In Primary Maternity and Infant Care In a South African Township”

IN PANEL: “Moral Economies of Care: Legacies of difference, inequality and transformation in 21st century care giving”



Return to top




Arundhati Bharati

Arundhati spent this past summer living in the monastery and teaching at SwayambhunathTemple in Kathmandu.

Arundhati Bharati teaching at Swayambhunath Temple in Kathmandu

“ there was a great experience and definitely taught me a lot about thinking on my feet and being open to new possibilities.”

- Cherry Bharati


Rachel Pope

Rachel, 2006, received her medical degree in May from The Medical School for International Health, in collaboration with Columbia University Medical Center.



Return to top

Rishi Sood

Rishi Sood will be working as a Program Analyst in the Office of Planning and Program Analysis at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. He will be assigned to different divisions within the health department to work to advance them from an operations and project management standpoint.



Return to top

Allison Zimmerman

Allison took part in the field season of the Woranso-Mille Paleontological Research Project led by Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie Ambaye of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. She spent two months camping out in the Mille district of the Afar Regional State of Ethiopia, excavating and preparing fossils for storage in the National Museum of Ethiopia. Through her work, along with the approximately 30-person research team, more than 650 identifiable fossil specimens were collected.



Return to top




Graduate Discourse

Graduate Discourse (GD) continues its tradition of being a body of unity and support for anthropology graduate students. Fall 2011 elections resulted in the selection of a new round of leadership for GD. Positions for 2011-2012 are : Kelley Kampman, Administrative/Advocate Chair, Laura Howard, Professional Development Chair, Jan E. Hanson, Journal Chair, Sarah Miller, Social Chair, Ariel Cascio and Todd Fennimore, Co-Librarians, and Absera Melaku, GSS Senator.

Graduate Discourse is pleased to announce that their new graduate student library is up and running. The library is housed in the computer lab and provides a variety of reference materials for student use.



Return to top



Sarah Williams-Blangero

Sarah Williams-Blangero, Chair of the Department of Genetics at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute (formerly the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research), was recently honored by the San Antonio Business Journal as a 2011 Health Care Hero. Williams-Blangero’s research has focused on genetic determinants that influence infectious parasitic diseases. In addition to Williams-Blangero, two other graduates of our Ph.D. program at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute are John Blangero, a Scientist in the Department of Genetics and Sandy Laston, a Staff Scientist II in the Department of Genetics.



Return to top

Copyright © 2010 Case Western Reserve University

Department of Anthropology

The Department of Anthropology, a leader in the field of Medical Anthropology, offers cutting edge emphases for both undergraduates and graduates. Visit the website.